Mat Ward

For its final issue of 2012, Green Left asked staff, contributors and others to name their book of the year.

Mel Barnes
Co-editor of Green Left Weekly
Mine-field
By Paul Cleary
Black Inc
http://bit.ly/NdE39u

In his follow-up to Too Much Luck, Paul Cleary travels throughout Australia to speak to people affected by the rapid coal and coal seam gas expansion taking place.

I Believe In Revolution
Darah
Darah Music
2012
www.darahmusic.tumblr.com

Darah says it was a fellow Aboriginal rapper who inspired him to take a more radical direction on his latest album, I Believe In Revolution. "This whole album was largely inspired by Big Luke’s album Message From A Black Man," the Victorian emcee tells Green Left.

Just as Big Luke took a no-holds barred approach on that album, so Darah has come out with both guns blazing on his latest effort. But Big Luke is not just an inspiration to Darah.

Forever
Kayemtee
Impossible Odds Records
2012
www.impossibleoddsrecords.com

Jimmy Barnes is probably the most heterosexual man in Australia - but he has now inspired probably the best homosexual rap tune to come out of the country.

The Cold Chisel frontman is famous for allegedly bedding more than 1000 women early on in his career. But Indigenous femcee Kayemtee has taken his band's highest-charting song, "Forever Now", and given it a radical twist.

Eklectic Methodz
Jpoint
Northern Orphanz Recordings
www.northernorphanz.webs.com

Rapper JPoint is building up a strong body of work - and not just in the music world. The Indigenous emcee runs his own record label, produces music for other artists and has a string of releases under his belt.

But he is also competing above the belt - by entering his first body-building contest. For JPoint, it's been a transformation.

Verbal Diary
Sneake1
www.facebook.com/Sneake1Music

When George Sambo was about seven years old, he used a wad of crooked cash to shout all his mates sausage rolls. The Queensland schoolboy couldn't have known then that those fatty rolls would set him rolling on a path to making phat rolling beats. But that's what happened.

"The first time I stole was when I was, like, Grade Four, Five, jumping in someone's window," he tells Green Left, fresh from stepping off stage at the Oxford Arts Factory in Sydney.

The Debut Recordings Volume 1
Native Ryme
Native Ryme Entertainment Group
November 2012
www.nativeryme.com

When you're representing a culture that has lasted 60,000 years, it doesn't matter that your debut album has taken a mere 18.

"We've always prided ourselves on coming from a culture that's been a song and dance culture for millennia, you know," says C-Roc, whose rap group, Native Ryme, are only just releasing an album a generation after he formed the band in 1994.

Pulling Strings
Izzy n The Profit
www.izzyntheprofit.com

It’s midnight in midwest Sydney and Izzy n The Profit are whipping a crowd into a full-blown frenzy. The audience is tiny, but the rappers are leaping around the Rooty Hill RSL like they’re ripping the roof off a stadium.

Islamophobia and the Politics Of Empire
Deepa Kumar
Haymarket Books
238 pages
September 2012

Author Deepa Kumar says Liberal Senator Brett Mason is “so wrong” for moving a motion in the Australian Senate to condemn Green Left Weekly for its criticism of the NSW police.

But Kumar, an associate professor of media studies and Middle East studies at Rutgers University in New Jersey, says Senator Mason’s actions “should not surprise us”.

Billionaires and Ballot Bandits
Greg Palast
Out September 18
www.gregpalast.com

If you really want to understand the forthcoming US presidential election, read this book.

Former corporate fraud investigator Greg Palast previously showed how the 2000 US election was rigged through "purging" black voters off the electoral rolls. He showed how the 2004 election was rigged the same way. In 2008, the same thing happened again, yet Barack Obama still managed enough votes to get in.

Fearless
Milk Crate Theatre
Carriageworks, Sydney
September 13-22
$35, $25
www.milkcratetheatre.com

Milk Crate Theatre director Mirra Todd says his main goal is to get people thinking and talking about homelessness.

“All theatre is about starting a conversation,” the wiry, animated Todd tells Green Left at Milk Crate’s rehearsal rooms in Sydney’s Kings Cross.

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